This Is My Father’s World

Sermon:  This Is My Father’s World

Word Count: 2192

PURPOSE:  Inductive style.  To highlight that despite recent violent events in our culture, God is in control of His creation, His world is still subject to Him.  His love is satisfactory of our needs. It is man who seeks to dominate one another.  God sets us free to be free.  This is our Father’s world.

Prineville, Oregon

Father’s Day

June 21, 2020

This Is My Father’s World

1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

So much seems off kilter in the world right now.  People don’t seem to have common sense anymore.  The world seems to have gone mad…but I would say this, Don’t worry, it happens all the time! 

It’s caused by rejection of certain premises.  1. God’s very existence.  2. God’s character.

What you believe about God affects every other matter in your life. 

There are laws, both spiritual and physical that govern our lives.  They are not man-made laws.  First, they are “natural laws.”  They are irresistible, and immovable. These laws operate whether man made laws contradict them or not.  Some will say other things are true, but time is not on their side, becausethis is my Father’s world. 

I want to discuss some political history.  What happened during the 1960’s?  Was there turmoil in this country?  There was, and it was as bad or worse than we have right now.  Many of the same issues were in play then as now.  We had a President assassinated.  We had a 1968 Presidential candidate assassinated.  We had a civil rights leader assassinated.  We were fighting the post-World War II advance of Communism in Vietnam and other countries.  There was unrest all across America. The 1968 Democratic Convention was a disaster with many protests and riots going on in Chicago.  Much of this was organized out of the University of Chicago.

There was the “MOBE,” and the “NEW MOBE.”  (National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, and New Mobilization Committee see Kengor, Dupes, page 286ff)

The CPUSA (Communist Party USA), Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party, Dubois Clubs of America, Progressive Labor Party, Young Social Alliance

And somewhere in the mix was the SDS or Students for a Democratic Society, Anarchists and the Black Panthers. 

There was even a group call “RESIST,” whose goal was to teach young Americans how to “resist” the draft.  (p 290, Kengor, Dupes)

Communists in America organized all these groups to peacefully “protest.”  Their goal was to provide a “loss” in Vietnam to the United States.  Does anything sound familiar here?  Communists were behind much of the dissent, while disavowing involvement.  “Russia did it.”  The truth was they were telling Americans, get out of Vietnam, so “you can live in peace.” 

Therefore, these things we are seeing in our country currently are not new and even some of the players are not new.  You are seeing the same playbook not only from the 1960’s, but literally from the 1920’s. Today, please gain perspective and context.  On surface, “racism.”  On the surface, “police brutality.”  But under the surface?  Agitators who hate this country.  Various agitators, communists, anarchists, common criminals, people holding grudges, you name it.  Please look on the bright side, for this is my Father’s world.

I want to tell you about my Dad.  Born in 1916, he was the oldest of 6 boys, with 2 sisters.  His dad, my grandfather, Roscoe John Tombleson, had the 1919 flu.  In 1928, my grandfather died from complications arising from that flu.  At the funeral, my then 12-year-old dad was informed that now he was the “man of the household,” because he was the oldest boy.  He raised all his siblings but one, his older sister. 

What happened just after 1928?  The great depression.  You may remember certain politicians referring to the 2008 economic slowdown as a great depression.  That’s nonsense.  The depression of 1929 saw people starving and they did not have big screen video games at home to play while they were unemployed.  Dad would scarcely eat chicken for much of his life, because that was the only meat he had as a kid.  My grandmother would butcher a chicken, boil the chicken to broth, and then that was all the meat they had until it was gone, soup, bones, and all.  They were dirt poor. 

Then, socialists in Europe fought among themselves, WWII broke out and Dad was drafted.  He was used to bossing brainless young men around, so during combat he was quickly promoted to sergeant.  Dad knew how to battle. From an early age, he knew how to do his duty.  Doing your duty, your assignment in life is how you earn your way to the end.  It means survival and accomplishment, one day at a time. 

Though Dad was not overtly religious, his mother was, and she prayed heartily for her 6 sons and 2 daughters. Given what they went through, they sorely needed those prayers.  The boys all served in active military and they all returned home alive from World War II.  That was amazing, given the all-encompassing violence of a truly world war. 

What’s amazing to me though, is that Dad came home from the war, found a sweetheart, married her, and raised 3 boys.  He was in some ways an incomplete father, but he had strong character, loyalty, duty, and the conviction of a job well done. 

He was not perfect, but what human father is.  I’m grateful for his role in my life. 

Without good fathers, children are far more likely to grow into immature adults.  They experience less income, lower levels of education, greater moral challenges, more jail time, less marital success. 

If your father was incomplete in some way, find another man who can mentor you, be your father in those areas where you have gaps in maturity. 

No, my dad wasn’t flawless, but he gave me glimpse of what could be, and safe place from which to start.  Finally, I realized that there was more to Fatherhood even than what my earthly father offered.  I realized that:

This is my Father’s world
and to my listening ears,
all nature sings and ‘round me rings
the music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world,
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas,
His hand, the wonders wrought.

I realized that the natural order of things goes all the way from creation and beyond everything a human can invent.  There are laws set forth from God at creation that precede any law thought up by man.  God set things in motion that are compelling, and unbending, even though people think they are so smart they can keep improving on what God has done.  Because we are tolerant and peaceful, we endure man made laws unless they become oppressive and troublesome.  Essential and absolute truths are so embedded in our world, as to seem unnoticed.  Even the doves in my neighborhood sing it every morning and throughout the day:  Whoo Hoo, Whoo Hoo Hoo.  Maybe you hear them too?

When will we realize that:

This is our Father’s world,
the birds, their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white
declare their maker’s praise.

This is our Father’s world,
He shines in all that’s fair.
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.

We see the weakness and imperfections in people.  Do we see them in ourselves?  Some do. The wrongs we have committed are so grievous.   Until I realize my sin, it’s hard to see my need for God. 

But if I confess with my mouth and believe in my heart that Jesus is Lord, if I confess my sin,  he is faithful and just and will forgive my sin, if I obey him in baptism into Him, I will enjoy his promises of forgiveness, the abundant spirit filled life, and eternal life. 

Therefore, if you’re here today and wonder about your place in God’s plan, please approach Jim or Bob or me or Tollie or someone you trust.  We will do our best to answer your questions. 

When we see wrongs in the world, when I see the wrongs in my life, it is distracting from what and whom I should remember, and that is:

This is my Father’s world,
 oh let me ne’er forget
  that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
  God is the ruler yet.

We in our culture have many hard-earned luxuries. These are not privileges of one class of people over another.  I reject class warfare.  I reject envy, jealousy and desiring what others have.  Especially if you won’t work for it yourself.  In most cases, they are duly earned necessities or comforts.  Do you have a nice home or vehicle?  Can you afford things someone else can’t?  That’s ok.  Let no one put a guilt trip on you because of who you happen to be. 

Are you unable to afford the things you want? 

Set goals and work toward them.  My father taught me to earn my way.  He taught me the merit system where you get what you work for, not what someone gives you because you want to advance yourself.  These days, too many want to be promoted and co-opt someone who has been working toward that goal by merit.  Co-opt means to take something that was originally meant for someone else.  Do what God has gifted you to do, and then work to sharpen your skills in that.  Let God lead you into where He makes you effective. 

If you’re over 33, the age of Jesus at His death, you’re on borrowed time!  You should appreciate what He has done for you.  I mean he died for everyone, and he died for YOU! 

Ephesians 5:14b-17

       “Awake, sleeper,

       And arise from the dead,

       And Christ will shine on you.”

15Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17So then do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is. 

The battle is not done.  More people are to come to Jesus as His children.  John 1:12 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,”

God is sovereign, not me nor you.  Someone stands on a street corner with a sign, telling me what to do?  They state that what I enjoy in life is undeserved and not of my own efforts? That I am privileged? That somehow, I should bow to them?  The day must never come when we bow to any man!  To God yes, to man, NO!  I was so offended and angry when I saw on television, an American president bow to a foreign king.  In America, we recognize that every person has individual sovereignty under God who is sovereign over all.  So I say to you, do not disengage from the political process.  That battle is spiritual.  The battle is worked out in our homes, schools, elections, literally every minute of our lives.  Never disengage.  Never, never give up.  Never surrender to evil, for that would say, “Christ died in vain.”

We are still in a battle, even though you and I know “Victory was won on the cross.” 

That day will come when every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  Natural law says that I am a free moral agent to make my decisions and bear my own consequences.   Let me tell you:

This is my Father’s world,
the battle is not done.
Jesus, who died, shall be satisfied
and earth and heaven be one.

Revelation 22:16-17
16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

I know who wins in the end, there is no need for hate and discontent.  I also know that God is near us right now, today, the doves singing outside my window in the morning tell me in their song God is with us!  Those birds singing are saying, “Why should my heart be sad?!”  Let us be glad.

So, I say to you today,

Why should our hearts be sad?
The Lord is king, let the heavens ring
God reigns, let the earth be glad!

This is our father’s world!

Covid-19, Thoughts

COVID-19, THOUGHTS

(April 1, 2020)

Yes, we are all “shut down” and “quarantined” in our respective homes. Only jobs deemed “essential” have employees showing up to work. Healthcare people, law enforcement personnel, transportation staff, sanitation employees, and a few more. Some may be tempted to despair during this season of challenge, illness and death.

Current models show that as many as a million or many more will die without taking preventive measures. With preventive measures (mitigation), there could still be 100,000 or more deaths. This dynamic situation is just what models show us as of 3/31/2020 (Presidential briefing). That will likely change daily as more data is fed into the models. Models are what is or is not fed into them, and must be given value accordingly.

“In all the world around me I see His loving care.” (He Lives, www.hymnal.net/hymn)

There are so many predictable reactions to something like this. “It’s nothing!”

“It’s the apocalypse!”

“It was deliberate by China!”

“It was the US Army!”

I must observe that despite all the wearying troubles facing humans, war and pestilence, a wide variety of reactions are predicable. Which reaction is best? Yes, in even the best-case scenario, we will grow weary and experience trouble, fatigue and even death, we can overcome despair! We must see victory over despair!

“And though my heart grows weary I never will despair.” (He Lives, www.hymnal.net/hymn)

In listening to Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York State, at first, I thought he was making more sense than usual. Then I noticed he complained a lot that the Federal government wasn’t performing to his expectation, all the while asking the Feds to do more and more. But lately, on 3/31/2020, I notice he is making noises about doing away with private health care. I think or wonder if I see his modus operandi. He has been angling all along for more central planning and provisioning of society. Human leaders are prone to this temptation, understandably. They will want to be more effective at everything the are responsible for.

But I think once duty has been done, we must trust the leading of the divine. Faith has its place. While we think we are wise, we are even then using the gifts we received at birth and developed from experience after birth. We follow the path God has laid for us. “It’s not the gale, but the set of the sail that determines the way our ship will go.” As we follow Him, we ought to say humbly,

“I know that He is leading, through all the stormy blast. ((He Lives, www.hymnal.net/hymn)

History holds claim to hope! We have dealt with Polio, Tuberculosis, Measles and much more.

What permanent changes will result for our society? Will the handshake go away? Will vote by mail become more attractive? Will hugs as a form of greeting or parting be less practiced? Will families see togetherness as a value or will the experience be a negative for them? Will work from home be even more widely practiced? Will Telehealth doctor visits be more highly used? Will “social distancing” be universally practiced even in the absence of a pandemic? Will governments increase surveillance of citizens in order to utilize contact tracking? (Contract tracking is used to detail the movement of a virus victim in order to see where his infection was caught.)

What I do believe is this: God lives and will bring His lessons to people who are willing to listen and see what He has done among us all.

“The day of His appearing will come at last.”  ((He Lives, www.hymnal.net/hymn)

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Oh, What World Will It Be?

I have 4 grandchildren and 1 more on the way!  Of course, they bring much joy as they learn, grow and discover our world, their world.  The experience of observing their experience is exciting and rewarding!  What will their world be?  What will be the opportunities, challenges and life decisions?

Will they be inundated with the usual form of government which enslaves them with those typical demands?  Will they be forced to conform in the name of safety, technological advancements and high financial costs?

Or will they learn the value of personal achievement, and decision making that expresses their individual sovereignty?

I see today so many a downcast countenance resulting from that feelling that one can not improve one’s lot in life due to governmental, and societal corrals built against and around us.  Political Correctness (PC), seems to rule the day on every front.  Mao would be so happy, “Toe the Party Line!”

Is there hope for my grandchildren?  Yes!  We live in the one exception to the ordinary when it comes to our form of government.  Self government!  Self government to be sure, requires of each citizen personal responsibility.

I unequivocally support the second amendment!  Why?  Because it restricts the government and calls upon the citizen for great responsibility.  It demands upon us for high ethical standards at the most critical of human endeavor, the power over life and death in the matter of self defense.  We are born with this right to self defense.  And we must exercise the right to enjoy possession of the right.  Right choices are forced upon each individual in the face of this incredible responsibility.

So I hope for my grandchildren that they will make life decisions that reflect their individual sovereignty.  That they will never settle for less.  That they will reject dependency upon big, bloated, socialistic forms and functions of government.  That they will come to understand in practical ways how unusual in the course of history the United States of America really is.  That they will be personally responsible for the success of themselves and their fellow citizens and neighbors.

Thank you for visiting and reading.

On Abortion, This is a Life Meant to Be

When Life Begins…
The discussion about when life begins is moot. Life began a very long time ago, or is just plain eternal without beginning or end. That any mammalian pregnancy is in progress can be measured with modern technology, and often by a mother herself from the earliest of times in that progress. None of this is really relevant in discussions on abortion. The subject is less about whether there is life, but about how and when that life may be “ended.” Life indeed, may not end with cessation of our bios. So to the point, abortion.
The word itself means that something is going to be interrupted or completely “stopped.” So what exactly is it here that is being stopped when we speak of “abortion?” A number of things. First the bios of the individual living inside the mother will end. Second, the tenure on this planet of the soul within that bios will be prevented from enjoying and suffering the impacts of our environment. Third, the current population outside the womb, will be prevented from enjoying the company and contributions of this new individual. Fourth, those who abort or stop the progression of the pregnancy prematurely, are guilty of homicide. They will have killed a human life. Whether that human individual was in or out of the womb has no substantial bearing on this rather uncomfortable fact.      
As to the first, there are times when for known or unknown reasons, an individual within the womb may die. Nature has strange ways of this happening, sometimes we might be able to tell what went “wrong,” other times we must grieve the loss and are forced to move on. This painful fact of life does not excuse those who seem to find reason to justify their direct action in ceasing the life in utero. We are not authorized to deliberately end life out of the bounds of normal survival needs found everywhere in this world.  
Pregnancy and birth may be the opinion of nature that life should continue. So, there is intentionality to pregnancy and birth. The progress of life will continue. It is a beautiful thing. So who in the world are you to think you are authorized and by whom, that you can end, terminate, or abort that pregnancy. Whatever your intentions, they are less grand than the intention of life itself, that life should continue. Indeed, every precaution should be taken to preserve, encourage, and build the chances of this individual’s life, that can be afforded it by the parents involved. As I write this, my daughter is pregnant with her second child, and my fourth grandchild. Those terms are not accidental! Each life is so precious! We have relational terminology, built up in cultures over thousands of years, family terms, designating our place in the lives of people we love, support, nurture, and finally grieve when the causes of nature remove their presence here. Some of us even believe the life continues when the bios drops away, and we will meet again in the unseen places beyond our current reach. Insult me not with your excuses that lead you to believe you may end a human life for convenience. Life should continue.  
We enjoy new life coming into our presence, then developing into adulthood. We teach children, imparting all our wisdom learned from our shared experience to them that we possibly can. As experience, combined with intellect moves in to their future, the possibilities explode with new experiences. Who in the year 500BC, could have anticipated the flushing toilet, the electric light bulb, the trip to the moon and beyond? History is replete with stories of famous, creative exceptional people who were almost or unsuccessfully aborted. Why must this madness continue? It doesn’t have to continue. I urge you to abort the abortion industry. That’s right, industry. For many, abortion is a matter of convenience, ending an unexpected pregnancy, for the providers it is a never ending source of “test tissue” on which they can commit untold atrocities. Such people are seared in the soul to a point where there is little chance of returning to being the type of caring, nurturing, loving individuals they ought to be.  
We don’t have babies for new victims upon which to experiment. We don’t have babies to enjoy as toys. We have them as a natural process of continuing life in the context we find ourselves in, on this planet, in the here and now. Babies, in or out of the womb are to be respected as individually sovereign, just adults are.  
Homicide occurs whenever a human life is taken by another human. Sometimes, and under certain conditions, homicide is also called murder. This has to do with the context, that is the means, intent and opportunity to do so. Abortion is not the result of a car accident, a plane crash, a house fire or drowning. Those are called accidents. They are not planned. They are not opportunistic. An abortion betrays an opportunist. Indeed, the opportunity lasts less than nine months. Yes, you could wait till after the birth to murder the individual, but the law speaks to that rather clearly in most cases. Yet under the law, things are convoluted severely for the unborn. That they are not protected by law very well, does not preclude their natural rights as sovereign individuals. Abortion requires means, hence the specialized “clinics.” Abortion requires intent to kill the baby. A surgery in close proximity to a living baby in the womb, could be undertaken with little danger to the unborn child. There is no doubt in my mind that abortion is indeed, murder. The responsibility for the murder is something to be worked out by that culture in which it occurs. It is not the subject of this specific blog post.  
That young women are drawn into this “procedure” by the temptation of convenience, threats, fear of ostracism, guilt or whatever, by the cruel who promote abortion, does not justify this barbaric practice. We are in this life. It is a gift to us to be here. What we do with that gift, is our gift back to life itself, to every other person we encounter here, indeed to people we may never meet. I’ve never met Thomas Edison, but I am thankful for his contributions.  
Life Does Not End…
If you are a person suffering the aftermath of an abortion, there is hope for you. If you had an abortion, or performed abortions, There is hope. There is forgiveness. This is a deeply personal hurt and burden which must be shared to be endured and healed. There are wonderful spiritual resources available through which you may resolve issues in the aftermath of abortion. The purpose of this blog post is not to berate someone who is affected by the subject. Life is what is at stake here. Once a life has been taken from us, it cannot be brought back. It can be grieved, though, healing can come. I urge you if need be to search for these very available resources to be found in your church or synagogue or appropriate counselors.